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Uk Deficit Could Be Wiped Out At A Stroke


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Claiming benefits is legal too- but this does stop the moral aspects of doing so being discussed.

Well yes, but then company profits are received and generated from money people willing parted with. Obviously this isn't the case with benefits.

Having said that, do you know anyone who claims less benefits than they should do because they want to give something back maybe?

No, didn't think so. People and behaviour are the same at the top through to the bottom. Its just easier to revile the extremes.

Companies like Starbucks are able to operate their business's secure in the knowledge that their investment will be safe and legally protected- they benefit from a social infrastructure that facilitates their profits but do everything they possibly can to avoid contributing to the maintenance of that social infrastructure.

But its not down to Starbucks to decide how much they want to pay. They work within a set legal system maintained by the government and within that system, of course, they pay the minimum amount they can. If the government think they are getting off too cheaply, its up to the government to fix the system. Again. Nobody pays more than they have to for anything.

And the jokes on them because they are going to kill their own markets as the local populations are taxed more to make up the shortfall and will eventually decide that paying 2.50 for a cup of coffee is no longer something they want to do.

The entire corporate aristocracy has embarked on a course that leads to their own extinction because they are too greedy and stupid to grasp the reality that the markets they service are a subset of the societies that sustain them. So the more they cut wages and dodge taxes the more they hasten the day when the demand for their products and services is no longer sufficient to support their bloated business models.

Or maybe the government will have to find a way to live within its means, reducing the overall tax take so people have more disposable cash. Not likely I know, but as likely as your scenario. I'd guess the actual result will be something in the middle and we will stumble on as we have been.

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Having said that, do you know anyone who claims less benefits than they should do because they want to give something back maybe?

A lot of people don't claim benefits they're 'entitled to'.

But its not down to Starbucks to decide how much they want to pay. They work within a set legal system maintained by the government and within that system, of course, they pay the minimum amount they can. If the government think they are getting off too cheaply, its up to the government to fix the system. Again. Nobody pays more than they have to for anything.

On the contrary, they're working within a market. Government red tape is one element of that market. But the market is really one of people in different roles: customers, employees, management, owners, bureaucrats, government. Those people have different motivations and actions.

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See that no one on the left can answer the question of how the state would seize this extra 20 Billion the Duke of Westminster 'made' on the increase in the value of his properties in my made up example.

Well - if the state presented him with a tax bill for 20 Billion he hasn't got the cash as his wealth is tied up in property

so he would have to sell 20 Billion of his property which of course would result in a crash in property prices which would wipe out the money he had made.

This is why seizing wealth never works - because it is largely paper wealth which the act of seizing destroys.

Zimbabwe was a large net exporter of food until the state seized the land and divided it amongst the people

now they can't even feed themselves

so where did the wealth go???????????????????????

I don't expect an answer to this question either.

:blink:

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A lot of people don't claim benefits they're 'entitled to'.

Most do. The ones that don't are simply lazy for the most part or its not worth their while. Some companies actually pay all the tax they have to as well.

On the contrary, they're working within a market. Government red tape is one element of that market. But the market is really one of people in different roles: customers, employees, management, owners, bureaucrats, government. Those people have different motivations and actions.

That has nothing to do with my point though.

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Left or right, I guess people just thought it was a stupid question. Why would they want to seize that £20 billion exactly?

I think there is a role for Land Tax that would allow Land to find its proper level such that the community obtains the gains for which it has created (such as roads, power, airports, jobs etc.) and to introduce more liquidity into the market so that more productive uses can be found if they cannot make it wash its face.

That is not the same as wanting 'to seize the £20 billion rise in prices'.

The thread is entitled how the UK deficit could be wiped out at a stroke

I assumed this would involve stealing 100 Billion+ from someone

I was just pointing out that this has been tried before and has never worked

:blink:

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Well yes, but then company profits are received and generated from money people willing parted with. Obviously this isn't the case with benefits.

So we can discuss the morality of both claiming benefits and avoiding taxes while accepting that both are legal activities.

Having said that, do you know anyone who claims less benefits than they should do because they want to give something back maybe?

No, didn't think so. People and behaviour are the same at the top through to the bottom. Its just easier to revile the extremes.

There are many people who choose not to claim things they are entitled to- they do so for moral reasons- and I am sure there are companies that choose not to engage in extreme tax avoidance for the same reason.

But its not down to Starbucks to decide how much they want to pay. They work within a set legal system maintained by the government and within that system, of course, they pay the minimum amount they can. If the government think they are getting off too cheaply, its up to the government to fix the system. Again. Nobody pays more than they have to for anything.

But they could choose to take the moral view that it's not acceptable to evade the spirit of the law by actively employing complex schemes to avoid paying taxes.

The banks make a similar argument- they went to extraordinary lengths to evade the regulations that limited their ability to leverage up their lending- but seem to have missed the point that those regulations existed for a reason- to prevent them from destroying themselves.

So the idea that just because you can do something makes this a morally or even practically good idea does not always hold true.

Or maybe the government will have to find a way to live within its means, reducing the overall tax take so people have more disposable cash. Not likely I know, but as likely as your scenario. I'd guess the actual result will be something in the middle and we will stumble on as we have been.

Yes- we could cut healthcare, pensions , unemployment protections ect- but this will not lead to more spending on starbucks coffee- it will lead to a cultural shift away from spending toward saving. This is the problem they have in China- everyone's saving for that rainy day instead of spending their money in shops.

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Its a comforting to imagine that the if only we could tax evil rich people and corporations everything would be fine - btw. direct expropriation of individuals assets is a very dangerous approach for the government to take

You need to take a step back and realise that there are simply natural limits to the possible tax take. UK total tax take is around 35% of GDP and has never been much more than this and never will be. Max tax take was 37.7% in mid eighties, even the most left wing govt can't get more than this because raising tax just discourages taxable activity (by the way Gordon brown was spending 47.7% of GDP so you see the problem)

I'm all in favour of going after those that take the mic like Jimmy Carr and friends. However, most legal tax avoidance is tax relief on pensions, isas and businesses expenses counted against income tax. If you remove these reliefs you will discourage retirement planning, saving or small business creation respectively

I also think that increasing corporation tax is also a non-starter because its too easy for corporations to avoid it - personally I would minimise corporation tax to persuade corporations to at least employ people in this country paying VAT and national insurance. I would pay for this by removing capital gains tax relief on primary residences, capital gains on property are unearned and based on luck rather than hard work so I don't see why that shouldn't be taxed.

TPT

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So we can discuss the morality of both claiming benefits and avoiding taxes while accepting that both are legal activities.

Both are legal. No problems there and nothing wrong in claiming or avoiding.

But they could choose to take the moral view that it's not acceptable to evade the spirit of the law by actively employing complex schemes to avoid paying taxes.

When dealing with more than one person, I'm not sure how you can talk about 'morals' as they're just personal opinions on acceptable behaviour. The CEO of Starbucks could believe its morally wrong for the government to waste the money he gives them. He could think he has a moral obligation to maximise profits for his shareholders. Just because thats not what you believe, it doesn't make him wrong. Thats why we have the legal system in the first place.

The banks make a similar argument- they went to extraordinary lengths to evade the regulations that limited their ability to leverage up their lending- but seem to have missed the point that those regulations existed for a reason- to prevent them from destroying themselves.

So the idea that just because you can do something makes this a morally or even practically good idea does not always hold true.

Well normally when you do something thats a bad idea, you have to face the responsibilities that go with it. The system failed with the banks. It failed to understand and stop what they were doing and it failed to let them go bust and punish them afterwards. There are people that will always game any system and it should be designed with this in mind.

Yes- we could cut healthcare, pensions , unemployment protections ect- but this will not lead to more spending on starbucks coffee- it will lead to a cultural shift away from spending toward saving. This is the problem they have in China- everyone's saving for that rainy day instead of spending their money in shops.

Or we could cut wasteful beurorcracy, excessive PS salaries and useless management. We could provide social welfare and still live within our means as a country. Besides a few more people saving and providing for themselves instead of sucking at the teat of the state wouldn't be a bad thing.

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  • 442 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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